THE LOWRY has maintained its position as the most popular attraction in Greater Manchester – with over 870,000 visitors a year.
The arts and entertainment centre leads the visitor ‘top ten’, which also includes its neighbour, the Imperial War Museum North, along with MOSI (the Museum of Science & Industry) and Manchester Airport ’s Runway Visitor Park .
The Whitworth Art Gallery has also entered the ‘top ten’, for the first time, with over 172,000 visitors.
The top ten visitor attractions in Greater Manchester are as follows:
Manchester Art Gallery
Bolton Museum, Aquarium & Archive
Manchester United FC Museum
Runway Visitor Park
Imperial War Museum North
Whitworth Art Gallery
Paul Simpson, managing director of Visit Manchester, said: “The visitor figures show the huge demand there is for places to go and things to see in the city. The Lowry has long-been a flagship venue for The Quays – and with the MediaCityUK development very much up and running, I expect the visitor figures of all the attractions at The Quays will rise all the more. It’s also great that we have popular attractions right across the city-region - from the Chill Factore in Trafford to the Museum, Aquarium & Archive in Bolton .”
The National Football Museum looks set to make its mark in 2012, when the collection re-opens in the city’s Urbis building following its move from Preston. The museum is expected to attract around 350,000 visitors a year.
Tourism generates £5.4bn a year for the Greater Manchester economy and supports 75,000 full time equivalent jobs. Visit Manchester is the tourist board for Greater Manchester and is a division of Marketing Manchester – the agency charged with promoting the city on a national and international stage.
The headline tourism figure in Merseyside for the latest 2009 figures is that tourism generated £2.7bn with 51.3m visitors. This is a puzzlingly low amount of money compared to Greater Manchester's £5bn plus figure, especially when Liverpool tends to have much larger visitor numbers to individual attractions. The Maritime Museum in 2009 had 1,027,425 visitors, World Museum Liverpool had 727,282, Bluecoat School 684,762, Tate Liverpool 619,707 and the Anglican Cathedral 478, 588.